CNNMoney.com recently published its 2010 forecast and projections for home prices in the country’s largest metro markets.
Listed as “Top 25” and also comprehensively by state, CNNMoney.com’s home price forecasts puts Santa Rosa, California at the top of 2010’s home appreciation list and Hanford, California at its bottom.
The 10 cities projected for highest home appreciation in 2010 are:
- Santa Rosa, CA : +6.0%
- Cheyenne, WY : +4.7%
- Kennewick, WA : +4.6%
- Merced, CA : +4.4%
- Bremerton, WA : +4.2%
- Fairbanks, AK : +4.2%
- Corvallis, OR : +4.1%
- Tacoma, WA : +3.9%
- Anchorage, AK : +3.8%
- Bend, OR : +3.3%
The Pacific Northwest is the region most heavily-represented among price gainers. The Southeast and Middle Atlantic are most represented on the under-perform list.
However, just because a city’s homes are expected to appreciate (or depreciate) in 2010, that doesn’t mean that every home within its limits will follow suit. Real estate cannot be grouped on a city level like CNNMoney.com tries to. There will always be areas in demand within city limits in which prices rise, just as there will be out-of-demand areas in which prices fall.
Real estate data can’t be grouped by city or even by ZIP code, really.
Real estate is more local than that.
When we say “real estate is local”, it means that every street in every town has a distinct set of traits that drives its home values. Homes that are one block closer to the train; or, homes that are facing north; or, homes that are made of brick. Each of these characteristics can affect a home’s desirability which, in turn, can affects its sales price.
National surveys can’t capture “essence” like this. They only report on the aggregate.
For local real estate data, look to established, publicly available websites and to active, local real estate agents. Both will have data and insight that can help you. National surveys often make for good headlines, but do little to help homebuyers find good value.